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SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
22 103,271 Sun November 25, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $88.05 9.27
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

This lens has an aperture range faster than that of all of its successors.

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 7 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
100 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
MH-R two piece metal screw-in
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
One-touch Zoom
Diam x Length
67 x 76 mm
470 g
Production Years
1979 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M ZOOM 1:2.8 35mm-1:3.5 70mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 22
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 420
Lens Review Date: November 25, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp
Cons: A bit heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: A7, K1   

If you do not mind manual focusing and compromise on the wide-angles (not as wide as 24-28mm), this lens is great to have, because it is almost as sharp as the much more expensive f2.8 zooms.

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 799
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and quite fast.
Cons: Not an "A" lens or better still AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I got rather lucky with this lens, affixed to a K1000 and listed on Ebay with little information apart from the fact that the camera worked and that the lens was in good condition. A quick look through the lens reviews on the forum identified the lens, got my curiosity going and a bid of a little less than the $91 showing as the average price for this lens on the reviews, got both.

My current favourite manual small zoom is a Tamron SP 35-80 (model 01A) adaptall so a quick comparison with it was in order. I would rate both around equal for images (without pixel peeping) with the following differences (with my copies anyway.....)
The Pentax seems better built with a smaller filter thread....and is a Pentax! Changing focal length is very smooth in operation.
The Tamron has the advantage of a P-KA mount but is stiff when changing focal length.
The Tamron has closer focussing, a larger filter thread and a little more at the long end.

I have some trouble focussing by eye at the shorter end on both so focus confirmation is a boon there. Otherwise, apart from maybe wishing they were AF and with more range, I am probably equally happy with using both....and the Pentax-F 35-70 I have.
Great manual lens.
New Member

Registered: November, 2016
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: December 15, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpnes,size,
Cons: non
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5, Pentax ME.   

I got this lens for about nothing. Very usefull zoom range. Sharp even at 2,8. If you can get it, run to buy.
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: May 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Very nice balance on Canon 6d, fantastic handling,
Cons: none for my personal taste
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 6d   

I really love this lens, on the 6d it's rather hard to focus trough the viewfinder, but i think that's rather due to my damaged eyes...
i love the contrast and overall picture i get out of this lens, it gives me a great pleasure to shoot with it...
Considering the fact that i regularly use Canon L glass and don't like some of them i guess i can say i'm rather picky
Can definitely recommend it !

Forum Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 80
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, color redention, easy to use (one touch zoom), build quality
Cons: (maybe) variable aperture?, a little bit expensive (but worth every penny)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I only have good things to say about this lens:
- it produces VERY SHARP images, with strong colors and contrast, even straight out of camera; comparable to a prime for all the range;
- I usually don't find it to be slow, but some people can complain about this, without testing this lens in a proper way;
- the one-touch-zoom does wonders if used right;
- one of my finest lenses, along with some Pentax-M primes (50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.7, 28 2.8) and some others primes;
- long focusing distance can be a little bit of pain sometimes.

Overall i can definitely RECOMEND this lens, and I'll buy it once again!
And one more thing: this lens in sharp
Some photos:
BMW i3 by Florin Radu, on Flickr

Little man at work by Florin Radu, on Flickr

Sunset by Florin Radu, on Flickr
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,269
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything, color, sharpness, image quality, etc
Cons: Close focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I'm typically not a zoom person but I absolutely love this lens. It's more like a series of primes that a zoom, sharp at every focal length with great color rendition and many other superlatives. The lens has been adequately addressed in prior reviews so I wouldn't repeat what others have said. I'll just leave you with this simple phrase: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Oslo
Posts: 309

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, build quality
Cons: One-touch handling (to taste), min. focus distance (1m)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 II   

This is a very nice lens. Build quality is superb, perhaps even a tad better than most other M lenses I've tried. Judging from prices found in Popular Photography of 1984, it was not a cheap lens. That may explain why the build quality is "one step above", though it could also be that my copy could be new from the box.

Fair enough, the focal range is not too useful on APS-C, and the one-touch operation can be bothersome. However, it has very nice image quality.
The contrast is superb, and the sharpness, wide-open, is nothing short of amazing

It's on par or better than my 50-150 at 50 and 70mm.
It's also, for reasons unknown to me, on par with my DA40@f/3.5 at 40mm wide-open. Comparing with the A35-105/3.5 is no contest. The M-zoom is better throughout it's range, though more extensive testing will have to determine how the colours look compared to each other. Aside from sharpness, I seem to prefer pictures from this lens over the "stack of primes" though. Given the A-lens' reputation, you'd think my copy was bad, complicated design and all. I happen to have two A35-105 copies, however, both of which test similar.

Minimum focus distance is the main drawback, aside from inherent problems with manual zoom at the wide end*. One metre is nothing to brag about, though I am going to try this lens with a 250D closeup-lens soon. Should be an interesting combination. The lens seems to be parfocal, at least from 1,5m to infinity.

Flare seems to be handled quite allright for an old zoom. There's some, but seems to be centered around the light source (=the sun), with some very small flare at the opposite end of the frame. There is a fair bit of chromatic aberration in high-contrast edges at the wide end, and it sticks even when stopped down.

Updates Oct. 2015.

* I've always found it difficult to focus 35mm lenses on my DSLRs, they're probably in a range where it's difficult to judge the focus in viewfinder/find something obvious to lock focus on, yet the DOF is too shallow to allow errors
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: June 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build, Optical Quality, Sharp, 58mm filter
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

I was looking for a pentax zoom, this one is awesome. I like a lens with weight to help stabilize the shot. So the weight doesn't bother me much. It is a larger heavy lens.

I was shooting with the 28mm f2 k mount (Zeiss design), I found this lens much sharper. My 28mm may be soft.
I am definitely getting a second copy.
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, color, bokeh, build, everything are excellent!
Cons: not yet found
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, A7   

really love this lens, i called the lens as "2 in 1 monster" or all around lens

here are the samples shoots from my flickr:
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 73

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, crisp images with prime-like contrast and colour, build, uniqnes - as it is a "SMC-K prototype turn real" lens.
Cons: None.... ok: 1 m minimum focusing distance - but you can always use 18-55mm WR with all long 25cm close focusing if you need.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

Amazing high speed/high quality lens - that accordingly to B. Dimitrov is an incarnation of the SMC-K prototype 35-70mm f/2.8

It produces prime-like crisp images with excellent colour, contrast and amazing sharpness on almost each aperture/FL combination. A STACK OF PRIMES INDEED.

It outclasses my (previously favourite) SMC-F 35-70mm f/3,5-4,5 zoom in this range.
Crispness, microcontrast and colour of this SMC-M are just another league.... excellent!

Very useful is a separate ring for focussing, that independently rotates on the one-touch type zooming ring.
It lets you focus without disturbing much the FL set on a zoom. On two-touch zooms it is more independent, but this solution takes what is best from one and two-touch zoom types.

One obvious drawback is the minimum focusing distance of 100cm. It makes this zoom rather a portrait/ street zoom. For close-ups and universal use - sth else is more recommended.
I also understand that this 1m MFD/MinFocDist is a cost of a top optical performance - as most zooms are a set of compromises.... it is OK with me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


And a word of comment:
I think there is no need for magical guessing and predicting of the f-stop on certain focal length from the engraved marking on the lens barrel. The shutter speed change is visible on the camera LCD while zooming, on P-setting with lens attached. It goes as follows:
  • 35 - 47mm - 1/400 sec - which must be f/2,8
  • 47 - 59mm - 1/320 sec - which must be f/3,2
  • 59 - 70mm - 1/250 sec - which must be f/3,5
Which means that f-stops do change in linear manner with this lens while zooming.
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Torino
Posts: 69
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness,Colours,bokeh
Cons: weight and nothing else
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K 30,K 01   

This lens is heavy like a tank but if you wish do bodybuilding during photographic session really deserve any attention if you can grab one.
I loved with my K 30 is perfect with Dslr ,with K 01 is not a so fast work due the lack of viewfinder,is better use other lens as 18-55 or 50 1.7
However Pentax should back to do lens like this,is sharp at 2.8 and at 70mm i read somewhere below it can be open till f 3.5(almost a full aperture lens) so that is fu@@ing amazing!!!

Check my Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 60

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality, appearance, IQ
Cons: slightly heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: sony a7r   

I bought this lens following on from the excellent reviews posted on this website. My immediate impressions are extremely favorable.
I was fortunate to pick up an immaculate copy from ebay for 69.
The lens fits ergonomically on the sony a7r and looks fantastic. It makes an ideal companion with the smc m 24-35 (which continues to impress me more and more with further use (contrary to my initial impressions)). Both have a 58mm filter thread.
As with all the smc lenses, the colours are deep and vibrant and images have plenty of contrast. The aperture ring clicks true and the sliding zoom mechanism provides nostalgia for the 70's and 80's when this zoom mechanism was the norm!!
As for sharpness, I have compared the lens with the sony zeiss fe 24-70 f4. At f8 and comparable focal lengths the pentax glass matches the zeiss for centre sharpness and is only minimally less sharp at the corners if one pixel peeps. There is less distortion than the uncorrected zeiss images but obviously a lot more after the lens profiles have been applied for the zeiss. Having said that, distortion is easily corrected manually in LR5. The pentax is the faster lens wide open but obviously lacks the optic stabilisation.
I will certainly favour this lens over the zeiss for landscape photography in which manual lenses excel and most photographs taken at f8 or f11.
In conclusion, if you are wishing to have a "compact" travel solution covering 24-70mm for landscape photography I would highly recommend the combination of the smc m 24-35 and m 35-70 to sony a7 users (and pentax FF slr users when it eventually arrives). I believe that this combination will equal and possibly surpass the image quality of most kit 24-70 zooms and produce the lovely vibrant photographs that are unique to pentax glass.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $129.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, almost no linear distortion
Cons: none, really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K10D, Kx, MX   

I bought this lens because of the high regard the reviewers in this post had for it. I'm in complete agreement. There really is no downside. You can say it doesn't autofocus, but no lens from this era does.

It's a complete package. I've even taken pictures of some buildings with this glass, and they're more than satisfactory. Linear distortion is minimal. I initially compared it to my (new) Nikkor 43-86mm f3.5, but the comparison is laughable. The Nikkor isn't in the same league from any standpoint.

This is possibly the only zoom lens that I will hold in as high regard as my Sigma 24-60 f2.8, which is peculiarly suited to my style of photography.

My main purpose for this lens will be people outdoors. As it is effectively a 55-105mm f2.8 on a DSLR, it will take in head shots and body shots with equal aplomb. It might be the ultimate model outdoor model lens - perfect range! I'll stick to my 77mm f1.8 Limited in the indoor arena, though - my old eyes will appreciate the autofocus in low light.

This lens is every bit as good as the other reviewers say it is. Like manntax below, I'll be looking for a second copy.
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great
Cons: no
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5   

the best lense ever used!
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1,973

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast , Sharp, Contrasty, Resistant to flare , compact built, mild CA
Cons: Rare, Not closely focusing, little bit heavy ?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D, K-01   

I got this lens around a year ago and recently started using it much more on my K10D after I got a split screen for it. It has become one of my favoured lenses ever . The sharpness is awesome from wide open and lens performs excellent with little CA and great bokeh.
What has surprised me is that it is actually nearly full f2.8 lens !! I just realised that it becomes f3.5 only around 65mm-70mm and it is full f2.8 all the way down to 35mm !!! - just look at the diaphragm lettering and see a separate green mark of aperture for 70mm !!! This is full range f2.8 lens with f3.5 only at 70mm !!!

Amazing value I paid for mine around $100 ( 50 shipped ) back in 2013 and it was my first zoom offering f2.8 through any range - now how does it compare to over 200 I paid for my Tamron f2.8 28-75mm that I got earlier this year ( 2014) for my Z1p film camera which I use the most on film ?? I honestly can't tell the difference even on K01 - so 16MP sensor isn't out-resolving this inexpensive fast zoom yet !! The only complain I have is that lens has little bit firmer ( still super smooth ) zoom in range between 60-70 - which might be a good thing since it doesn't suffer from any zoom creep and also offers *very* accurate focusing in this range - but I would prefer it to be slightly lighter to zoom in this range as it is between 35- 60mm.

EDIT: I revisited this review after having used the lens for more than a year now. I can say that it is one zoom only that I can safely use wide open in low light with my K-01 and not worry about the aperture ring. I just use it in AV wide open !! The image quality is very good at wide end, great at mid-range and simple AMAZING at 60-70mm . Definitely better than my Tamron 28-75mm is. The microcontrast of this lens is just outstanding, also flare resistance is great. I have knocked off one point from bokeh because it can be busier at places, but that depends on the background because I often had some smooth nice bokeh with it. Great lens - and I am looking for another one now for my son, is THAT good !

Lens is super sharp across the whole range - and is sharper than my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 at long end up until f4-5.6 where Tamron becomes equally sharp !!

So all in all - if you are looking for a fast zoom but with limited budged - this can be your answer! This lens will deliver and offers excellent quality and fast f2.8 in whole range between 35mm - 65mm !!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

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